How can hotels harness blockchain technology?
That’s exactly what innovator, strategist and Chief Operating Officer of citizenM, Michael Levie, hopes to uncover during the panel discussion he will moderate at RSF London on 5 November called, Hype or Hope: Is Blockchain going to change the industry, or much ado about nothing?
“We, as an industry, are behind when it comes to new technology,” says Levie, who will also offer the keynote presentation on the benefits to hotels of taking a Blue Ocean approach to business. “There’s a certain degree of frustration with some feeling these advancements are not for everyone. But whether or not new technologies, like blockchain, are right for your hotel depends on how you upgrade your own architecture and make meaningful use of the opportunity.”
The biggest and most obvious blockchain benefits center around distribution and data. New platforms could lower costs of acquisition and give hotels greater control over the distribution process. But taking the technology from a pie-in-the-sky idea, as Levie puts it, to an actual tool remains the industry’s biggest hurdle.
Panelists – including David Brillembourg of Brillembourg Holdings; Charles Ehredt of Currency Alliance; Khalid Ladha of BlockX Labs; and Christian Lunden of Nordic Choice Hotels – will shed light on what they see as opportunities for blockchain in hotels. Levie will lead the discussion and ask each to offer tangible ideas and strategies for how to implement this young, ground-breaking technology based on their own experiences.
“There are plenty of opportunities for blockchain in hotels,” says Levie. “But it all comes down to how realistic is it for this industry to take that quantum leap.”
The biggest obstacles from Levie’s perspective are scale, affordability and purpose.
According to a survey by the World Economic Forum, 58% of executives anticipate that 10% of global GDP will be stored on blockchain before 2025. It is therefore imperative that hoteliers pay attention to this technological revolution. And the best way to prepare is to listen to experts take a deep dive into its potential.